Communication and Culture | Senior Seminar in Communication and Culture: Film and Revolution
C401 | 36309 | Malitsky, J.

W, 5:30PM-9:30PM, C2 203
This class meets during the second eight weeks of the semester

Instructor: Josh Malitsky
Office: C2 217
Phone: 856-0405

This senior seminar examines the ways in which filmmakers and
critics in the Soviet Union and Cuba answered the question: what
role should cinema play in the development of a revolutionary,
socialist society?  The answers they came up with might surprise
many people.  Instead of didactic, predictable films, what emerged
were aesthetically innovative, politically-inspiring, revolutionary
films that sought to transform people's imaginations about the
possibilities of a new life and a new society. We will look at the
films produced, the arguments made in support of these films, and
the arguments that challenged their topics, methods, and
aesthetics.  We will read statements by filmmakers, critiques by
contemporary and current cultural critics, and we will come up with
our own analyses.

We will focus particular attention on divisions between fiction film
and documentary film in the Soviet Union and Cuba, identifying the
key theoretical distinctions and seeing how well they hold up to the
films themselves.  The course will focus on four filmmakers.  We
will look closely at the work of Soviet fiction filmmaker Sergei
Eisenstein and Soviet non-fiction filmmaker Dziga Vertov.  And we
will look closely at the work of Cuban fiction filmmaker Tomas
Gutiérrez Alea and Cuban documentary filmmaker Santiago Álvarez.
Students are not required to have extensive knowledge of Soviet or
Cuban history to take this course.